A Source, A Source, My Kingdom for a Source…Well, I Guess I Have to Give Up My Kingdom

I have been talking with my adviser Dr. Quigley about places and ideas of places to search for credible resources and information. We discussed the sources at the Library of Congress as well as Confederate Quartermaster records and I began my mining operations. All of my dig sites were planned out in advance, my dig permits were in place, and the machinery was ready to go…, so I just got ready for the adventures and went to work.

This week I spent time mining the databases of the Library of Congress and the National Archives. Both of these massive collections have several very fine finding aids on their searchable websites. I am enclosing the addresses for two of these within this blog. These finding aids were very helpful in the way that they were able to help me narrow my search and with the way that key terms, i.e. names, identifiers, subject matter, etc. were collected together.

I searched both of the sites using the finding aids that were available and found a wealth of information. On the National Archives one, I found records such as Confederate Quartermaster reports, requisitions, returns, and depot supply records. These are part of a much larger collection of records of the Confederate States Government records held by the Federal Government regarding the Confederacy’s role in the American Civil War.
War Department Collection of Confederate Records (Record Group 109) 1825-1900 (bulk 1861-65)

The second finding aid was son the Library of Congress’s website, which led to a plethora of original photographs of Confederate prisoners of war, and Confederate war dead. These photographs tell a very vivid story in and of themselves and by looking under great scrutiny, on can see details about Confederate Government supply systems in the uniforms and shoes that they are wearing, how the equipment and accoutrements are being worn, what type of weapons were found on the battlefields, etc. This is also a way to see the progression of uniformity within the Confederate ranks, especially when taking the date of the photograph into account. Another source that I found within this amazing source, was a prints and art section, showing original sketches and paintings within the Library of Congress’s collection of original artwork.
Library of Congress – Prints and Photographs Section

I had requested an MA thesis from Mississippi State University by a former MA student there, which I was in hopes of getting, to see his sources and findings; that came in and did not disappoint, it was filled with great information and multiple source references.

I also spent time reading through several secondary sources that will be very helpful to the overall success of my thesis. I will include those in my first draft of my bibliography. I have been very pleased with the amount of headway that I have been able to make this week.

2 thoughts on “A Source, A Source, My Kingdom for a Source…Well, I Guess I Have to Give Up My Kingdom”

  1. Sounds like you uncovered some interesting sources this week. I wonder if you could elaborate on this sentence: “These finding aids were very helpful in the way that they were able to help me narrow my search?” Would like to hear in what ways the finding aids helped.
    I’m also curious about your topic/question. How have you refocused it in light of class discussion last week? I sense that the soldier is no longer center stage, but you are more interested in how the army was supplied.

  2. Hi Tiny,

    I agree with Dr. Jones, it sounds like you have a great deal of interesting sources to work with. I particularly like the fact that you unearthed a MA thesis similar to your own interests and that it is already proving useful for you. I would also look into dissertations that are similar to your interests as well because, all though they may be a bit more detailed and complex, they may also uncover some other resources for you as well. Happy researching!

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